This my first time posting on here, but I've spent plenty of hours on here reading your TRs. This looks like an amazing trip. I hope to go a TPR trip in the not too distant future (maybe next year) - a domestic trip first then eventually a international trip (UK or Japan are at the top of my list). I want to make several comments on your Japan trip so far. Its pretty long so bear with me.
First: The Vending Machines - I would go to Japan for the vending machines alone (and the food). I wish we had vending machines like that here with that many choices. I hate vending machines that only have 5 or 6 choices. Did anyone try the hot can coffee? How about the Fanta Honey Lemon? Any other interesting/weird Fanta flavors? I love trying the different Fanta flavors when I go to other countries, they are always better than the ones here in the US - even the Orange tastes different. Also I am a huge Mountain Dew fan and I'm wondering if anyone tried the MD Grape - is it more like regular grape soda or like the MD Pitch Black they used to have here around Halloween time?
Second: The Food - I love Japanese food including teppanyaki, sushi, sashima, soups, hot plates, and all their weird seafood (most of it). I like how you turn your TPR trips into culinary trips too with pictures of all the food (makes me hungry). The Yakitori looks amazing (except for the cheese one - I don't do cheese). Even McDonalds there looks interesting. I try to sample the local and regional cuisine when I go abroad but if I go to a McD's (or another American fast food place) one rule I have is to order something I can't get at the US McD's. That Shaka Shaka Chicken looks interesting - I wonder what the different seasoning choices are.
Third : The Bullet Trains - I've been on some pretty cool train rides in Spain but I've never been on a bullet train. I would love to see a POV of a bullet train ride if you have one, even if it is just 30 seconds long. Does the train ride smooth, do you feel the takeoff, can you see the scenery at 190MPH? I wish we had good trains here in the US (or even more trains) but I doubt we will get any bullet trains here in the near future. I have relatives in Spain and everytime I go visit I am reminded of how fun and great trains are.
Fourth: Universal Studios Japan - So is this really the best Universal park or best "Studios" park? Better than Islands of Adventure? I haven't been to IOA yet but that place looks amazing. Don't get me wrong, this place looks great. Is Space Fantasy a coaster or track dark ride? Was JP: The Ride closed
? It looks like a mirror image clone of the JP: The Ride in Hollywood (which I've been to and love). I'm guessing by the lack of POVs here you weren't allowed to film the rides. Looks like you choose a great day to go here by the lack of crowds and reading that sign with the waits being 15 min or less
Each time I've gone to USH was in December and it wasn't crowded at all.
Fifth: Parque Espana - If I ever get to this area of Japan I have to go here. What an interesting theme for a park in Japan. Although certain things look out of place like the Nutcracker ride they did a decent job of theming it. Pyrenees looks like an awesome inverted coaster (all B&M inverted ones are awesome IMO) - I have been to the real Pyrenees (in the North of Spain) and Andorra. The Gran Montserrat Coaster looks awesome too -again I've been to the real Montserrat (about an hour train ride west of Barcelona). Montserrat is like the Spanish version of Pinnacles National Monument in CA, but waaay more developed with a monastery, restaurants, a hotel, and two different funiculars to hiking trails on the top and both an aerial tram and a rack-railway train from the base to the top of the mountain. The rack-railway trail ride alone is worth the day trip here to anyone visiting the Barcelona area - it curves around the mountain and goes through tunnels and bridges and steep inclines in about 20 minutes. Anyway back to Parque Espana - how was the theming on the Matador Bullfight Coaster? I'm guessing it was too dark to film for a POV. That Adventure Lagoon looked like a ride that could rival Disney/Universal theming wise. Was there Spanish food being served at the park? Did anyone try it? I doubt they had Horchata de Chufi but no Spanish theme park is complete without Horchata de Chufi.
Sixth: The escalators! - Yes the escalators get their own section. I love those escalators with a light show (would it give some people seisures though?). I've always been fascinated with escalators ever since my first visit to Barcelona in 1992 when I was 10. The best escalators I've been on are outdoor ones connecting the bottom of Monjuic to the Palace that has a Catalan art museum. These escalators were built for the 92 Olympics and the city has benefited from them ever since. I've heard the world's highest escalator is in Osaka --> http://travel.uk.msn.com/inspiration/adventure-activities/photos.aspx?cp-documentid=156395561&page=1
Seventh: Nagashima Spa Land - This place looks like a lot of fun but looks more like the Japanese Blackpool Pleasure Beach than the Japanese Cedar Point to me based on what I've seen on the internet (though I haven't been to any of them). Is the water park a separate paid attraction or part of the park admission? Is it a run of the mill water park or something worth noting? Looks like it was closed anyway. And finally the mug! That is the most ridiculous mug ever, of course you guys had to buy them. Reminds me of these t-shirts a lot of people in Spain wear with random sayings in English that make no sense. Its like "oooh shirt in English, lets buy it" and they don't know what it means, and I have to refrain from laughing at them when they walk buy me wearing them
I wonder what those Japanese writing shirts some people in the US wear say.
Have fun at Disneyland
Tokyo Disney Sea (the top of my "want to visit" list), Fuji Q Highland, and wherever else you guys are still going to. I'm sooo jealous but at the same time so glad I get to read these in-depth reports that almost make me feel like I'm there. And I promise my future comment posts won't be this long.